Analyzing the impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations across Californina

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Agency Name
Cal EPA Air Resources Board
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Area/s of Research
Climate Change Science

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is proposing a research project to analyze the impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations across California. This study seeks to identify the impact of carbon emissions, through climate change, on communities across the State. In this way, the research can be used to identify geographic regions of the State that face disproportionate impacts from climate change. While it has been widely suggested that lower income households suffer inordinately under climate change, no quantitative analysis of the climate vulnerability of California’s diverse populations currently exists.

This agreement is to support CARB’s ongoing effort to better understand and identify impacts related to climate change in vulnerable communities and include this new analysis into the AB 32 Climate Change Scoping Plan (Scoping Plan) Update in 2022. While the Scoping Plan is a statewide actionable plan, understanding disparities in outcomes from climate change can help identify where to direct resources and support to avoid increases in disparities resulting from climate change and where impacts can be avoided by acting to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs).

The purpose of this study is to quantify, at the census tract level, the most socially and economically significant impacts of climate change, which may include, and is not limited to:

● Heat-related mortality

● Heat-related impacts on learning and educational attainment

● Energy demand and costs

● Labor supply

● Coastal storms and sea level rise

● Inland flooding

● Changes in agricultural productivity

● Other impact categories as research quality and data availability allow

The study must clearly identify the vulnerability of census tracts to the impacts of climate change using a single, comprehensive climate vulnerability metric (CVM) developed and informed by the analysis of the most economically significant impacts. In addition, the study must clearly identify the CVM to census tracts defined by CalEnviroScreen as Disadvantaged Communities relative to other census tracts in California. Finally, the study must clearly identify areas of scientific uncertainty in each economically significant impact agreed to be analyzed and included in the final CVM and provide guidance on the suitability of each impact for use in the CVM.

CARB will work with the researchers to identify the most appropriate form for the CVM with the aim of categorizing relative severity of climate impacts across the State, which could include creation of a climate vulnerability index or an aggregated monetized valuation of climate impacts. Contractor will present findings at public workshops, to executive and technical teams as needed, in a final report, and in documentation, detailing analysis methods and sources of data utilized. The duration of this contract will be 18 months. The budget is $175,000.00.